The term is flying!
We have packed in a lot into the 5 weeks since the last post.
The kids have been creating their own timetables using the playlist to guide them. We have had to re-visit the levels of agency to ensure everyone understands the expectations but more importantly, that they know what they need to work on to become free range. Recently I came across this Sylvia Ashton Warner quote and it really sums up what I am attempting to create in Room 6 …
Out of 29 learners in @sixonitsown 21 have identified themselves as FREE RANGE and 8 have identified themselves as OUT IN THE YARD. No one feels they are CLOSE GRAINED anymore. I was very happy with the self assessment of their level of agency and excited to think that they are genuinely understanding this ideal condition that ‘with freedom comes responsibility’. When providing opportunities like this for learners to develop their agency I regularly reflect on how it is all going. It comes down to this …
MOST are managing themselves really well.
We have continued our learning about how we form opinions and how we have to have good reasons if we are wanting to convince our readers. They are learning how collecting real data and factual information which backs up their own opinion is important if they want to be persuasive enough to change what someone thinks. We also discussed and demonstrated emotive language as well as the importance of a strong beginning and ending. As with everything we do … choice was offered as to the topic for their argument. They have learnt that itis easier to be persuasive when it is something we are really passionate about and that we have personal experience of or connections with. Regardless of topic, the technique for writing is the same!
#NZreadaloud has continued to spark curiosity. Learning about early Aotearoa has resulted in the sharing of a range of new information which was all self-directed. Providing opportunities for learners to inquire into their own wonderings and curiosities helps these kids to further develop agency. We have started to call it ‘having a hungry mind’.
Edmodo has been our platform for sharing and below are a couple of examples of the sharing of new learning happening.
Many kids are also sharing connections and learning in Seesaw too.
Tracking the kids’ posts in Edmodo and Seesaw and providing feedback and feedforward is a crucial part of my practice.
We are slowly integrating Twitter into our learning when it is appropriate. For instance I retweet interesting things I come across so the kids can use it as a place to go when they want to do some reading.
Also two of my students asked to do a Twitter poll to gather voice on the question they are using for their argument writing. These are authentic uses for this social media platform and the kids in @sixonitsown are learning about this at their own pace.
We are also using Twitter to connect and share our learning with @Miss_Buglass and other classes we are connected with.
We were involved in 2 live webinars about Te Tiriti o Waitangi – one live form Te Kongahu Museum in Waitangi and the other from Te Papa in Wellington.
Our Sustainable Seas kaupapa has provided further opportunities for self-directed inquiry – particularly learning a little bit about Ecosystem Based Management.
Participating in the Learnz Field Trip added authenticity to this learning. Along with the 2 webinars we involved ourselves in there was also the diary and videos of the field trip that our expert @ShelleyHersey added to the site which the kids read and watched.
Stevie’s artistic skills topped it off with her sketch of the Blue Cod.
Lastly and most importantly … we have started #storyhui.
I could say it was time which has meant we haven’t got to it. I guess in all honesty it really is more about making the time for it. Having changed my mindframe about when to fit it in – it is that important that it needs to be embedded seamlessly. So we have begun and #storyhui will become part of our day when someone has a learning success they want to share. Everyone is loving how we have coloured in the white spaces and are using black paper with metallic pens!
We have had a number of kids share already and then the kids asked me to share a learning success … so I did.
Lastly, we have also started on our Friday STEAM challenge. The focus of which was to create an artefact inspired from a particular culture of your choice using traditional materials. This challenge has seen a lot of research happening, a lot of learning happening, and a lot of problem-solving happening. So far we have projects involving:
raranga harakeke * Chinese lantern * Origami cranes * clay mask * carving of a taonga using bone/paua * making a poi using muka and flax *
Here is a snippet of yesterday’s session – some got started and others were still deciding on what to do or doing some research and gathering ideas.
Here is a student demonstrating how to make string from muka:
And James suggested a time lapse of him creating one of his origami cranes.
Wow … when I put together a post like this it really astounds me as to all the learning experiences the kids in Just the Six are having.
What is exciting for me is that a LOT of it is learner driven – I provide the opportunity, encourage through questioning and embedding a mindframe that curiosity can drive learning. This is agency at its best and most inspiring from where I sit.
I must finish with a couple of the random moments from the last few weeks – for us these are what makes our space the safe, comfortable place that it is. Where kids can be themselves, take on the role of the teacher when they want to, break up learning times with dancing. and simply have fun.
How are you helping develop agency in your learners?